"I have a vision for Los Angeles a vision of economic prosperity"
"Los Angeles is a great city, but our economy was leaving too many behind even before we were hit hard by the recession. Now we are facing a recovery marred by unacceptably high unemployment. With more than a third of Angelenos struggling to make ends meet, and most of our growing industries providing low-wage jobs and polluting our city, we face a potentially bleak future. Los Angeles' congestion crisis is costing businesses and the government billions of dollars, hampering economic growth and regional prosperity, damaging our environment, causing health problems, and robbing people of both time and money. For most of the past century, the Los Angeles region was the land of the American Dream come true. Our factories, ports, businesses and malls were the engines of a booming American economy, and they helped lift us out of the Great Depression and into shared prosperity. Los Angeles and its neighboring cities and suburbs were home to a broad middle class that included business owners, health care providers, truck drivers, grocery clerks, construction workers and countless more. Broad-based prosperity was not an accident of history or purely the creation of the invisible hand of the market. It was thanks in part to an active government that fueled key industries and subsidized developments that would benefit local workers and families. It was also due to certain business owners who saw their interests as linked to those of the whole community, including workers. Moreover, it was the result of working people who expected and demanded that they share in the prosperity their work created. Over the past few decades, that prosperity dwindled and the middle class shriveled. Los Angeles, like America, has become a land of haves and have-nots. In housing as well as other basic expenses, Los Angeles rates as one of the least affordable cities in the country. Los Angeles County is home to more people without health insurance than any other county, while many communities deal with severe pollution and nutrition-related health epidemics. In short, the dream is slipping away, and we must change course if we are to reclaim it. This is a critical moment for Los Angeles. The recession hit Los Angeles hard. Southern California was one of the epicenters of the housing crash, so the fallout was particularly hard in real estate, construction and finance. Economists see a slow recovery, but are we on track for yet another jobless recovery, leaving working families further behind and hollowing out the middle class even more? Alternatively, will we manage to recover and grow in ways that broaden prosperity and result in a healthier, more dynamic economy? In order to have a broad-based recovery, Los Angeles needs more good jobs that pay enough for families to sustain themselves and to contribute to the local economy. By definition, poverty-wage jobs will not lift families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. Moreover, high unemployment drags the economy down even for those with jobs. Increasing wages and employment move us in the right direction. People in the new or improved jobs benefit directly, but many more benefit indirectly as families spend more locally, become self-sufficient and provide a stable foundation for our communities."
YJ Draiman for Mayor of Los Angeles